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MAMMA MIA! BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: October 18, 2001
Synopsis: Mamma Mia! collects a group of hit songs by the Swedish supergroup ABBA and shapes them around the story of a single mother coping with her young daughter's marriage on a picturesque Greek isle. While the daughter plans her future with the love of her life, her mother is haunted by three different men who may or may not be her daughter's father. Among the songs are such familiar '70s staples as “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “S.O.S.,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.”
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"A giant singing Hostess cupcake opened at the Winter Garden Theater last night. It is called Mamma Mia!, and it may be the unlikeliest hit ever to win over cynical, sentiment-shy New Yorkers."
"Mamma Mia!, the musical based on the songs of Abba, is a silly affair all around, and that's its greatest asset. The show takes some of the Swedish pop group's best-known tunes and threads a narrative through them, albeit a pretty flimsy one that starts off well enough but collapses under its own weightlessness. Not that it matters, since despite some marketing to the contrary, the story just provides an excuse for the performers to deliver the ditties like "Dancing Queen" and "The Winner Takes It All" and the repetitively titled "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme," "Honey Honey," "Money, Money, Money" and "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" to an audience ready to eat them up. Emptier entertainment would be hard to find, but that's a brand of feel-good fun this show emits in abundance."
"If you're an ABBA fan, read no further. Just line up at the box office for Mamma Mia! Immediately. Since you're already bonded to the material, you will undoubtedly have a wonderful time. If, however, your attachment to ABBA is only tangential or, as in my case, nonexistent, you might want to think twice about it."
"The show is pleasing as it passes and it certainly features a generous swath of songs that caught the world's fancy during the '70s and '80s. There's no question that the patron who doesn't know or particularly care for ABBA is not a patron for whom Mamma Mia! will have any meaning whatsoever."
"The Italian exclamation Mamma Mia! usually expresses a not entirely pleasurable surprise or a not wholly unenjoyable shock. Emotionally rather than literally, it translates as "Holy cow!" Which is pretty much my reaction to the musical Mamma Mia!"
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